NCBA PROGRESSING WELL AFTER ONE YEAR IN BUSINESS
April 25th 2017 will mark one year since Anguilla’s lone indigenous banking institution, the National Commercial Bank of Anguilla, has been in operation. The Anguillian spoke to Mr Michael Bird, CEO, NCBA, following the Anguilla Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ltd “Business After Hours” hosted by the National Commercial Bank of Anguilla on Tuesday evening (11th April) at La Vue Boutique Inn.
“Over the year, which is coming up, we’ve made great strides in stabilizing the Bank. I think we’ve turned a corner and we’re focusing on the customer, doing it right the first time. Are we there yet? No, but we’ve made huge progress over the year. It’s all in part due to the staff – incredibly dedicated staff that have gone way beyond the call of duty to get everything done. I think we’ve now gotten over most of the hurdles, so we’re looking forward to another prosperous year ahead,” Mr. Bird observed.
“We’re now beginning to see some of the customers coming back from the other banks that they took their business to; and the lineup in the bank – people criticize the lineup, but we look at it as a positive base that we still have a lot of customers,” responded the CEO, to a question raised on the Bank’s customer base. “And we’ve opened the West End Branch which has been a tremendous help to easing the pressure at the St Mary’s Street Branch – and that is working out real well. It’s not a full service branch but, over time, we will increase the number of products and services that we can offer there. But right now we call it a service center – teller functions, open accounts – basic Stuff, and over time it will grow as well.”
When asked about the granting of loans, Mr Bird commented: “We are a function of the economy and the economy is not growing in leaps and bounds, but our loan growth is increasing, not at a huge pace, but it is increasing which is a good sign too – and the deposit base has stabilized, and I think we have laid the foundation. What we have to do now is focus on the customer and getting it right all the time.”
Mr Bird also spoke about the extra capital expected from the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank: “We’re nearly there. It’s a lot of documentation that has to be put in placed. Momentarily, we’re expecting it. It’s all a process that has to be done and follow and we’re nearly there. I think it’s around 90 million dollars … which will go a long way and will allow us to do a lot more positive stuff.”
Meanwhile, during the brief ceremony, Mr Marius St Rose, Director, NCBA, spoke about the important role the former NBA and CCB played in society: “The two legacy banks which went under, unfortunately, over a 3 or 4 year period, they did serve a very useful purpose. They did a lot to develop the country. Unfortunately, not everything went right and they failed, but a new creature has emerged, the NCBA. We know and believe that Anguillians are committed to their institution – will patronize it – and that the institution is well ahead on its road to recovery and will do a lot to facilitate the development of Anguilla in the future. Over the year, I’ve seen a lot of progress…It is your bank. It is one that will make a difference for you. The profits will remain in the country. We are going to ensure that the profits are not exported, and we’re going to be a lot more careful with the financing that we provide – to ensure that they are useful to Anguilla.”
NCBA replaces Anguilla’s two indigenous banks, the Caribbean Commercial Bank Anguilla Limited and the National Bank of Anguilla Limited, which permanently closed their doors on Friday 22nd April 2016.
The closure of the two banks which had been under conservatorship since August 12, 2013 and the opening of the new NCBA formed part of Government’s banking resolution strategy.